Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sarajevo Roses a important documentry film about the war in Bosnia that needs your support

Roger Richards was a photographer who covered the war in Bosnia and the Siege of Sarajevo. He ended up falling in love with Bosnia like many of us and has helped the people of BiH in many ways. Now he needs help funding this ambitious project entitled "Sarajevo Roses" an important documentary that tells the story of life in the besieged capitol of Bosnia thru the eyes of one man and what that has meant for his life work.

You can purchase these items from Cafepress and help fund the making of the film, any extra money donated after the costs of making the film will go to charity...
You can like him on facebook on the following link..

Here's the basic information on the film...
Release Date
Documentary-Cinematic Essay/Dokumentarni-Filmski Esej
Sevda Films
During the almost four-year siege of the Bosnian capital city of Sarajevo, hundreds of thousands of bombs rained upon the city from the surrounding hills. Every shell exploding on a road or paved area left an imprint resembling that of a flower.
Plot Outline
Surviving hell was just the first step.

SARAJEVO ROSES is a compelling documentary in progress told through the eyes and experiences of Dr. Asim Haracic, a Bosnian-American psychiatrist and musician who survived the Siege of Sarajevo and is now working to heal the victims of violence in his adopted home of Washington, D.C.

During the four-year siege of the Bosnian capital city of Sarajevo, hundreds of thousands of bombs fell from the surrounding hills. As each exploded, it left a crater in concrete resembling a flower. Citizens stoically painted these “pavement petals” red and called them Sarajevo roses. Some of the craters remain today. Like scars on the heart of the once all-embracing city, they are fading reminders of innocent blood that was spilled on these streets.

Outsiders always ask, “How could those mass executions, rapes, and ethnic cleansings happen in what was hailed as Communism’s most cosmopolitan city?” “How can you not see that it is possible anywhere,” Asim Haracic and other Sarajevo survivors reply. Asim has dedicated his life and his art to helping those traumatized by such violence and opening eyes and hearts of others so it may never happen again.

Dr. Asim Haracic was trained as a plastic surgeon, but as the century’s longest siege wore on, he found himself alternating between the frontlines of the besieged city and the emergency room at Kosevo hospital, patching up soldiers or saving Sarajevans cut down by shells and snipers. It was a life without hope, one marked by the day-to-day struggle for survival. But Bosnians are a resilient group, and they found solace in family, the gatherings of friends, the sharing music or even in the ironic recalling of stories about when there was food and electricity.

In 1995, Asim could no longer justify keeping his wife Elmira and their four-month-old son Armin in such danger. He sent them through the only escape route from Sarajevo, a tunnel dug under the tarmac of the airport, which was ringed by Radovan Karadzic's Bosnian Serb army. The Serbs shot at every movement but were never able to locate and eliminate the entrance. Mother and son crawled through the passageway, then trudged on foot, at night, over heavily mined Mount Igman, the site of the 1984 Winter Olympics biathlon event, eluding the troops that ringed the city. Asim stayed to provide what medical care he could, finally making his own trip through the tunnel, joining his family and moving to the USA as refugees.

The Haracic family rebuilt their shattered life in Washington, D.C., and their daughter Melissa was born. Asim no longer wanted to repair cosmetic wounds. He returned to medical school, studying psychiatry, so he could help heal deeper scars. He also began composing songs and putting music to poems by the famous Bosnian writer Semezdin Mehmedinovic. The art was part of his own internal process of healing the emotional toll of war.

When he reads the wartime journal of an American photojournalist he had befriended, it sends him on a journey of self-discovery. Both men carry similar scars, both are irrevocably changed from what they witnessed, and both are determined to give testimony, not in anger but as a warning.

It's been over 14 years, and another generation has grown up, since the Siege of Sarajevo ended. It is long enough for the gaping wounds to scab over, but the lessons and the experiences are still vivid.

Asim is at a point now in his life where he feels he must make a record for those who want to know what happened. He feels he needs to reopen the wounds of Bosnia, so his children, who are now old enough to ask, might some day understand. He is a reluctant witness, compelled out of a sense of duty to those who didn't make it or who are still so crippled they can't cope alone. He sees them in his dreams and in his practice, where Bosnian refugees show up for treatment but pretend they were not affected. He fears he will forget. He feels he must tell the story while his images and language are still powerful enough to convey what happened to those who were not there. He must do justice to those who gave so much for the social experiment that was Sarajevo.

SARAJEVO ROSES will do more than show how a sophisticated 20th century city that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympic Games only eight years later became a symbol of man’s brutality toward his neighbor. It will serve warning that morality is a thin veneer, easily eroded by prejudice, mob mentality and manipulation. This film is a meditation on how quickly civilization can be destroyed when the right, or wrong, conditions are created. It also will explore the concept of memory, both personal and collective, and how distorted history and memory can be passed down through generations and used to justify extremism and destroying ‘the other.’ It also will show that in the depth of such depravity, humanity can not only survive but thrive, Those Sarajevo roses were not just ironic but became iconic. Love flourished and life became so much more vibrant when a trip for water involved evading snipers and mortar shells.

At its heart, SARAJEVO ROSES is about one man’s search for inner peace after experiencing the horrors of war, and a personal testimony to his descendants in the hope that they will come to understand that love and living fully in the present is the best thing we can hope for as human beings. It is poignant, not only to those who have survived Sarajevo, but also to the men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq and those here who can’t fathom how average Americans could participate in Abu Ghraib-type behaviors.

Filmmaker/photographer Roger M. Richards in 1992 began documenting the siege of Sarajevo during the bloody disintegration of Yugoslavia. His work chronicled the entire war and the city’s transition to peace over the span of 18 years. During the war his path crossed with Dr. Asim Haracic several times, but they never met until peacetime.
A link to his website about the film...

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